Steaming into Magwe, the riverine traveller is greeted by the sight of the Myathalun Pagoda glinting serenely from the summit of the Naguttama hillock hard by the bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River. Being one of the greatly venerated shrines, and also because Magwe lies midway between the upcountry and the lower parts, its annual festival has served as a great fair for the exchange of local goods. According to legend the original pagoda had a height of about 55.5 feet (16.9 m) and was built by U Baw Gyaw and his wife the daughter of a certain Maha Bawga, a man of great wealth with an official title.
King Saw Lu (1077-1084) of Bagan encapsulated the original pagoda and raised it to a height of 87 feet (26.5 m). In 1847, it was destroyed by an earthquake and rebuilt by the mayor of the town Min Din Min Hla Kyaw Gaung. The pagoda was rebuilt to the present height of approximately 104 feet (31.7m).